AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb” (Good) of British Caribbean Insurance Company Limited (BCIC) (Jamaica). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect BCIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
BCIC’s balance sheet strength assessment is derived from the company’s risk-adjusted capitalization being at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), partially offset by the company’s high reinsurance dependence to protect its surplus and earnings in the event of major catastrophe events. The balance sheet strength assessment also reflects BCIC’s strategically liquid investment portfolio, which is primarily composed of government of Jamaica short-term repurchase agreements, fixed-income securities, and cash and cash equivalents.
BCIC has a history of consistent earnings supported by underwriting gains, fee income and investment income, resulting in solid profitability metrics as demonstrated by its five-year average return results. Overall earnings in 2022 were primarily driven by reinsurance commissions, as well as strong investment income, which offset a net underwriting loss for the year. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, BCIC entered into a new motor quota share treaty, which resulted in increased operating expenses driven by one-off costs; however, this was offset by the related ceding commissions associated with the treaty.
AM Best views the company’s business profile as limited. The company generates the bulk of its business in its domicile of Jamaica, while also operating in Turks and Caicos, and Barbados. BCIC operates in highly competitive markets and offers an array of insurance products through its branches and agents, including commercial and residential property, as well as automobile coverages. Given BCIC’s geographic concentration in the Caribbean, the company has significant exposure to weather-related events. Like many property/casualty insurers operating in the Caribbean, BCIC cedes a significant portion of its written premiums to reinsurers under its reinsurance treaties.
BCIC’s ERM is considered appropriate. The company has an established risk management framework that supports the achievement of the organization’s objectives by addressing the full spectrum of its risks and managing the combined impact of those. AM Best anticipates that the company’s risk management capabilities and comprehensive reinsurance program will continue to support BCIC’s overall rating assessment.
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